ABQ businessman tapped to head city department - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ businessman tapped to head city department

Charles Ashley III, a well-known member of Albuquerque’s startup community, has been named director of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

A prominent member of New Mexico’s startup community is the new director of economic development for the city of Albuquerque following the former leader’s departure in September.

Charles Ashley III, founder of Cultivating Coders, which provides technical training to K-12 schools and adult learners in under-resourced areas, was appointed by Mayor Tim Keller Tuesday. Ashley will start his role at the beginning of February.

As the new director of the Economic Development Department, Ashley is tasked with bringing new businesses to the city while supporting existing companies.

“I believe in this community,” Ashley told the Journal. “I’ve been here 15 years and it’s a place I’ve invested in not just monetarily. … Having been offered such a prestigious position from Mayor Keller is extremely humbling and I’m honored.”

Ashley said his experience at the helm of a startup company has allowed him to see how businesses operate on every level – from the executive down to janitorial duties.

“I think that experience is going to allow me to go into this new role with the ability to be agile and flexible, but also hungry and aggressive,” Ashley said. “That’s the nature of most business owners. … Your ambition, your hunger, your drive, those things are usually what … puts you in that entrepreneur or business owner box. So, I’m excited to see how that translates into the government space.”

Ashley’s time at Cultivating Coders, he said, also allowed him to invest in young people and marginalized communities, something he hopes to continue as the new director through workforce development programs.

“My passion has always been going above and beyond when in regards to overlooked communities, right, so that passion won’t change,” he said.

Aside from his work as a business owner, Ashley has worked as the Bernalillo County Economic Development Department’s film liaison and marketing specialist, and has served on multiple board of directors, including: the U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union Board and Learning Alliance, Dream BIG, New Mexico AIDS Services, Albuquerque Youth Basketball League Board, Albuquerque Sol Advisory Council, Mayor Richard Berry’s Deep Dive Council for Arts & Culture, and Mayor Tim Keller’s Education Transition Team.

As the new director, Ashley said he wants to first understand the department and the mayor’s goals in order to build relationships.

“The real overarching goal right now would be researching, relationships, and then creating a plan off of that,” he said.

Ashley’s appointment comes four months after the former director, Synthia Jaramillo, left the position for a role at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Jaramillo led the department for four years.

“Albuquerque is entering a promising time for sustainable, diverse economic growth, and we look forward to having Charles lead our department through it,” Keller wrote in a statement. “His work as a business owner, advocate, and partner to the City over the years has created opportunities for folks from all walks of life, and we’re fortunate to have him continuing that mission with us.”


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
APD investigates 2 homicides over several hours
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque Police Department's Homicide Unit is ... Albuquerque Police Department's Homicide Unit is investigating after a dead body was discovere ...
2
Albuquerque restaurant inspections for Jan. 31, 2022
ABQnews Seeker
Crepes and Waffles, 3211 Coors SW ... Crepes and Waffles, 3211 Coors SW (Jan. 14)
3
COVID tests out there ... somewhere
ABQnews Seeker
Testing shortages are unnerving the public Testing shortages are unnerving the public
4
Legislative priorities for NM employers, workers to pay attention ...
ABQnews Seeker
We're already nearly a week into ... We're already nearly a week into the 2022 legislative session, and the bills are flying fast a ...
5
New Mexico firm's gaming universe inspires thousands
ABQnews Seeker
Ganymede Games' "Xenotheria" appeals to grown-up ... Ganymede Games' "Xenotheria" appeals to grown-up gamers' nostalgia.
6
One-on-One: Engineering firm CEO's past trauma helps him lead
ABQnews Seeker
Army veteran helps other find healing ... Army veteran helps other find healing at the Grand Canyon
7
Reminder: Nominations still being accepted for 10th annual Top ...
ABQnews Seeker
Nominations are still being accepted for ... Nominations are still being accepted for the Journal's 10th annual Top Workplaces program. &n ...
8
As AI progresses, keep humanity, humility in mind
ABQnews Seeker
When my business partner and I ... When my business partner and I launched our company in the mid-1990s, we debated whether to install ...
9
Bill would set $15 minimum wage for state employees
ABQnews Seeker
Move could increase pay of 1,200 ... Move could increase pay of 1,200 workers